Breaking down the Wings
10/27/2012 10:49 PM
08/05/2014 9:40 PM
Finding scorers was the Wings’ top offseason objective, and they emerged from with the best available option. Reigning MISL MVP Geison Moura was signed away from Missouri, where he tormented the Wings and was the difference in several close games between the teams. Moura led the league with 90 points, nine more than his closest competitor and 31 more than the Wings leader, Jamar Beasley. Moura led the league with 37 goals. He also took the second most shots in the league, shots that might not be available in what appears to be a balanced Wichita offense. The signings of Moura and Miguel Ferrer give the Wings three players who topped 50 points last year, and returners such as Bryan Perez and Freddie Moojen have the capability to approach or exceed that number. Kevin Ten Eyck managed 43 points when pressed into increased scoring responsibilities after the Wings suffered several injuries to key players.
The Wings kept many games close during their 8-16 season because of a defense that wasn't spectacular but serviceable. No team scored more than 20 points against Wichita and only one opponent, Rochester, reached that mark. The Wings allowed 10 or fewer points nine times but went 5-4 in those games. Chris Lemons led the Wings with 30 blocked shots, just ahead of returners Omar Quiroz and Ten Eyck. Ten Eyck is returning to his full-time role on defense and Beasley, though primarily a scorer, provides the Wings a boost on defense. Much of Wichita's defense could rely on its ability to not use it much by controlling the ball, and with several skilled offensive players, maintaining possession could prove to be a strength.
Wichita enters the season with the same two goalkeepers it employed last season, Sanaldo Carvalho and backup Nic Martinez. Carvalho, a former MISL championship game MVP, was mostly as advertised, finishing fifth in the league in points-allowed average but much closer to the leader in that category than the cellar-dweller. Carvalho proved to be one of the league's most durable keepers, playing the second-most minutes. He faced the third-highest volume of shots (395) and had the third-most saves (272).